tv [untitled] September 17, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT
oh of the earth of the bible. coming up this hour on our t.v. across the middle east and around the world protests are flaring up against the u.s. over an anti islam film we'll bring you the latest developments and those aren't the only protests are to use keeping an eye on today. occupy wall street is celebrating its one year anniversary and gone are the days when the protesters were dismissed by the media as hippies or drug abusers ahead we'll show you where the movement came from and also where it's headed.
the good evening on this monday september seventeenth it's eight pm in washington d.c. i'm christine and you're watching our t.v. . well this evening we want to talk about the massive protests taking place across the middle east and north africa and really all around the world after last tuesday's attack on the u.s. embassy in libya which ended the death in the deaths of four americans including the u.s. ambassador protests have been spreading all throughout the region there are conflicting reports regarding the source of the anger from a low budget offensive anti islam film to overall frustration with the west u.s. embassies around the world are on high alert and many americans in foreign
countries are fearing for their safety we want to take more of a bird's eye view and connect some of the dots in terms of what we've seen over the last seven days and what we've seen over the last few years and decades earlier i spoke with r.t. arabic correspondent rima abu hamza. first of all i would say that these events. these are arab nations who are very sentimental very emotional they saw something happening they saw the film being produced and they want to protest this and taken out to the street was their only way to protest this so because they are very sentimental we've seen this happen before they demonstrated against the burning of the koran in background base in afghanistan they demonstrated against the. cartoonist the danish cartoonist to depict the prophet mohammed we've seen that happen before and it also died just as quickly as it
started and just as fiercely as this started so we don't know what's going to happen when it comes to this might just be another example of how the arabs show their feelings towards something that is happening on the ground. right now the other thing is a lot of it has to do with what's going on in the arab world at the moment to process the arab spring or whatever you want to call it the revolutions they broke a lot of these revolutions brought islamist government to power. people expected that those governments will probably act differently when they see something like this happening to their prophet none of this have happened these governments acted exactly as the previous governments did they stopped the process they actually shot fired at people a lot of people were killed in these process and people are probably angrier you
know more angry know that those governments that they brought to power through revolutions have done exactly what the previous government's done and i think that just adds a lot of to you low to the fire that is burning in the arab world at the moment i'm certainly lends some interesting to perspective to some of those people who believed for example in egypt when you saw you know. muslim brotherhood take power that things would change significantly that so far they haven't necessarily again though it's only been a few days but remind want to look at this also in a different way much of the violence that's taking place around the world right now is taking place in countries that frankly the united states has given quite a bit of aid to financial and military aid and we've put together a map so i just want to put that up on the screen for you and for our viewers to show a little bit of how that breaks down. you know these are some of the countries that we've given to afghanistan twenty billion dollars egypt three billion libya thirty
two million pakistan four point six five billion so so here you have quite a few countries and the amount of money that is given. and yet in most of these countries. u.s. people from the u.s. americans are not. are they're certainly not guaranteed safety they're not guaranteed safety in their own country either but they're not a lot of them don't feel secure especially at this moment talk a little bit about that relation relationship of money and what the return on the investment has been. a lot of people would that even call it investment in the arab world they would give it all kinds of different names definitely not an investment a lot of people say i was just reading an article today about the foreign investment in the arab world and a lot of people including the this article called it the new occupation to control or the new way to control the arab world through foreign aid to these countries many people see this aid coming to the arab world from one hand and.
being taken away from them from a different hand meaning that these are countries a lot of the countries they either produce oil and therefore a lot of the aid money doesn't make any sense to them why would you give a to levy a for instance a country that produces a lot of was that can basically actually give away money to other arab countries in need a lot of these people see that these this aid assistance the word translates into arabic by the way just means that the u.s. is trying to meddle into their own countries into their own affairs by way of trying to give you money whether it's through military to support the military or to support the social and non-government organizations they are just you think people who live there do you think they have a sense a how much money is being spent in their country and be where it's going no the
answer is simple a lot of people have not seen this money we're not talking about money that goes directly into people's pockets we're talking about money that goes either to the military organizations to the military complexes in those countries or that goes to n.g.o.s and i want to make a distinction here because the people on the ground in the arab world make this distinction they see the foreign aid that goes to the military industries in their own countries the military institutions of their country as something that may be a net. the seri but on the other hand they see the mill the assistance or the aid that gums through organizations as something that they have to question and we've seen that happen before even before the revolution start it would seem a lot of people questioning why are we are receiving and why are we receiving a lot of money through organisations that have basically held nothing or have not contributed a whole lot to the country and when you're talking to systems people see that they
want to see changes on the ground they have not seen that the poverty is the same salute it's the question is whose hand is that money actually going to an important question a sirene we're out of time great to have you on are here record fun and remodel hante a thanks so much let's turn now to another batch of protests taking place today in honor of the one year anniversary of occupy wall street throughout the day today hundreds of people gathered outside of wall street and staged a protest against big banks corporate greed and the fast growing gap in any quality around the country. now over the last year the this protest emerged and these protesters at first state day and night in manhattan zuccotti park within a few days there were similar protests in most major cities around this country and in other countries as well are to of course is covered it since day one but perhaps the incident that made others start to take notice happen a couple weeks after occupy first began a year ago on october first. protests.
thousands came out to protest and seven hundred people were arrested after they blocked the brooklyn bridge many involved say police actually corralled them on to the bridge for police it was a wake up call in terms of the size and scope of the occupy. what you're doing what you know. what you we did see many weeks of action by police and later that month an open california u.s. military veteran scott olsen was critically wounded by them setting off a flood of anger and also bringing more strength to the occupied. then images of police spraying student activists in the face with pepper spray brought even more attention to the clashes between police and protesters. then as winter came the number of those taking part did diminish but many of them were forced off the properties they had been occupying many observers believe the occupy
wall street to quiet down until a few months later on may first occupy protests erupted once again they force a very didn't size and shape it illustrated to activists observers and police alike that there still are thousands of people hoping to raise awareness and bring change to the system. are to correspond on a stuffy a target going to take a look back at the last year and what the movement accomplished. you know the one triggered by wealth inequality inspired by the arab spring occupy wall street movement of the people bringing up real dialogue over the need to improve the way america runs. spilled on to the street when the same bankers that collapsed are connally were bailed out by our taxpayer money that provoked occupy wall street and what we hope to do with brains that outrange outrage about very basic issues that most americans intuitively understand. the big apple became the birthplace of
the occupy movement just one week into the protest all hell broke. when they pepper sprayed those those women and made all those arrests it was really intense police brutality were brought into the spotlight hundreds of protesters grew into thousands then tens of thousands in a fight for a better country occupy wall street certainly put forward the issue of poverty but the plan in the middle class but most prominently that economic power in the united states is intimately linked to political power occupy camps blossomed as the movement energized more and more people. to chapters often confronted by here gas and pepper spray even war veterans injured too much he says bloodied demonstrators with the tongs and dragged journalists abused and arrested. camps in major cities
eventually eradicated by officials one after another remembers the car the park in new york's financial district it was here that first occupy camps set up hundreds of. thousands showing in the fight for change eventually got cleared out and largely and today occupy the same change the format is not going to. when people go out and protest in the streets the naysayers complain and say what are they getting done and when when the activists go and organize and actually. affect change not in the streets they say oh look now they're going well critics say occupy did not bring the change and accountability for. congress that hasn't done very much it's hard to say anything policy wise really changed in the last year but i think it did start a discussion about economic inequality it started and question about tax policy and started the discussion about how we are trading on employment and the unemployed
and i think that was a discussion that wasn't really had few would argue that the economic and social issues that triggered occupy have been solved about one third of the american public is either in poverty or on the cusp of poverty that's one hundred million people and yet you hear virtually nothing about poverty in this election politicians are not addressing problems such as this one yet using them to their own advantage obama is running on and on to pile wall street campaign but they're trying to paint romney as someone who's out of touch in the lead by wall street started the fight of the ninety nine percent versus the wealthiest one percent a year later the political establishment and wall street are still sleeping in the same bed this makes true reform unlikely until we eliminate corporate money from politics. and that will be a central. platform closing the gap between the rich and poor eradicating sky high
student debt bringing accountability to wall street all major issues yet to be tackled in the u.s. two thirds of the u.s. senate are millionaires forty five percent of the house of representatives are millionaires we have the best democracy money can buy an actual democracy made a little more possible with the seeds. when we show our. courageous. and united in the. spirit of the response we're going to get when we march in the streets. that are americans imagination and can actually make something a movement where millions again return to the streets. and spirit of the movement still very much around one year on the future going to new york. all right so we've look back now let's take a look ahead what's next for occupy wall street for that i was joined by occupy
activist ward well i think that occupy wall street is really a horizontal i stand as moved into communities in a far more comprehensive way the dead part of occupy wall street would be the eternally long encampment model i think that was a tactic that was immensely valuable and i think that we're going to continue to see ourselves revisiting that concept but it really unlocked the potential of what's possible at the drop of a hat if you have a group of people who are dedicated to affecting meaningful change let's get into some of the specifics i mean occupy isn't working on the housing crisis in california to stop banks from foreclosing on homeowners do you think this is a branch off of occupy or just sort of a different direction that it's taking. well i can only speak for here in los angeles i was part of forming occupy fights foreclosures which is a subcommittee of occupy l.a.
here so we're definitely still intrinsically linked with the larger movement and we feel that the message of defending homeowners trying to be robin hood refusing to accept money and in trying to organize neighborhoods organically to defend themselves and to support each other and to show solidarity we think that that's the greatest way that we can really continue to stick it to the banks while simultaneously helping people who need it the most and from what i understand that these are some of the tactics that have been most successful what you're talking about people who would have lost their homes are still living in them yeah we are not hindered by a lot of sort of the procedural limitations that attorneys and that other people are you know attorneys are constantly in danger of losing their bar certification if they do anything that sort of operates outside of the realm of the status quo and i don't think it's any surprise that with the kangaroo court system as we have right now most of the success is coming from activists who are standing up for
homeowners occupy has refused for the most part to engage directly in the political realm so unlike the tea party for example it's hard for a lot of people to determine the real impact that the movement had. what do you think the answer is in terms of because obviously you who are kind of involved in this every day you see you know the progress you see the evolution but it is important i think you would agree that other people who aren't involved also understand. the results of occupies so how do you how do we measure this. well i think you actually can measure a lot of successes in a quantifiable fashion it's just that unfortunately we don't have a mainstream media establishment that is a free press anymore and just to take through some of the accomplishments that we've had here in los angeles that no one really talks about too much i'm starting out with in the first days of the occupation at city hall we saw one hundred fifty people inside to pressure city council and actually to to physically wake up they
were sleeping in their seats to pressure them to wake up and to pass the responsible banking ordinance which they did that had been dead in committee for years and we managed to bring that revive that debate and got it passed albion a watered down fashion we moved on from there and as for and we're just talking about reforms changes here that people can really identify with in a direct fashion that was occupy l.a. activist matt ward. and continuing on with our look back at occupy some interesting developments are starting to be made public that we want to discuss and you may remember one of the issues many occupy protesters spoke about over the last year was their concern that they were being surveilled by police now of course many movements around the country members of these movements actually spoke with police on a daily basis however some activists we spoke to said they believe police officers were going undercover taking notes collecting information about them activists
which would then be turned over to authorities well it turns out those so-called conspiracies may in fact have been accurate the american civil liberties union has obtained initial documents they had to file a lawsuit to get their hands on and contained in these documents information about surveillance of occupy demonstrations i'm joined now by linda lai attorney with the a.c.l.u. of northern california and linda first tell me about this process of just trying to get this information one of the a.c.l.u. have to go through. thank you so much for having us here the a.c.l.u. of northern california in conjunction with the local independent newspaper the san francisco bay guardian father freedom of information act request on the f.b.i. to find out whether in fact all of the suspicions of f.b.i. surveillance were in fact true we got no response for a while and so in july we sued in federal court not too long after we filed lawsuits the f.b.i. produced documents and initial sets which do two things somewhat not surprisingly
they confirm that the f.b.i. has in fact been keeping tabs on the occupy movement but what was much more interesting was what the f.b.i. refused to hand over they acknowledge that additional documents exist but that they were not going to provide us with them invoking several what are called exemptions under the freedom of information act one of the reasons being national security yeah there's a whole page of exemptions listed in some of these documents let's start first with the focus of the documents that were released from what i gathered that it seemed to be on the port of oakland shut down in november and the west coast porous ports shut down in december any indication why these events were you know important for the department of homeland security to send in the troops so-to speak. the documents we got were from the f.b.i. there's a separate group the partnership for civil justice in d.c. that has done fabulous work some foyers to d h s and the partnership for civil
justice did obtain documents showing that the h.s. was quite involved the documents we have changed were from the f.b.i. the federal bureau of investigation which has a history of service spying on domestic activists what we wanted to know is whether that tradition that unhappy tradition continues to this day so what not surprisingly the f.b.i. was keeping tabs on the various then upcoming court shutdowns so you were saying before. a few documents were released i think thirteen pages worth but you were saying what was really interested interesting with the fact that they said they had thirty seven pages just on this topic alone on occupy surveillance talk a little bit about the significance of this. so there were additional pages that they did not produce and two things i think are especially interesting about this
one they held back some of the documents based on supposedly national security now if occupy really implicates national security one would suspect that the f.b.i. has possession more than thirty seven pages to why is a political protest movement a matter of national security it's not very surprising to us that the f.b.i. would invoke the sort of ordinary law enforcement exemptions that's the standard thing it does in most of these cases but national security really rushes ratchet it up to a different level national security is usually what you'd expect to see if we're trying to get. spy satellite photo images of nuclear reactors but obviously we're not asking for anything of that sort our concern is that the f.b.i. is treating political protests like a threat to national security when political protest is actually not a threat it's our nation lifeblood of course hindsight is always twenty twenty but what do you make of so many people when they heard people these activists say we
think we're being surveilled so many people said you know you guys are crazy you guys are. you know conspiracy theorists. why do you think so many people didn't believe occupy protesters when they thought that they were being spied on. i guess hard for me to speculate but what we really wanted to do with see if there's concrete proof and people who are concerned that the feds were keeping tabs on them had justification for being worried about that is there anything that can be done about this i mean is there any steps that some of these activists can take to. fight back or is there anything that can happen to make sure this doesn't continue or is this just kind of how it's going to be. so one thing people can do is actually submit a freedom of information act. privacy act request to see if the f.b.i. has set up an individual file on them the f.b.i. web site is actually relatively good at sort of do it yourself freedom of
information act requests so folks are concerned that the f.b.i. have started a file on them submitted a foyer privacy act request to find out and the reason why it's important to do this is to hold our government accountable the f.b.i. has guidelines for how it can and should offer h. several years ago the department of justice inspector general did an audit of the f.b.i. to see if it was complying with the guidelines that are supposed to control how the f.b.i. conduct investigation and the f.b.i. came up short having concrete information rather than just concerned accusation having concrete information is really important if we are to hold our decision makers accountable of course today is the one year anniversary of when the occupy wall street movement began and this topic is a very important one but while i have a hurling i want to sort of take this and make it a little broader i know that you wrote a couple months ago about sealed judicial documents he said there are tens of thousands of these kept by the f.b.i. what is the a.c.l.
biggest concerns about this. it's an enormous concern that the government is consistently applying for what are called location tracking orders under seal it's relatively common in the course of a criminal investigation that the government will go to court and ask to for a search warrant or other kind of. order to in order to justify getting information about the suspect of an investigation during the pendency of an investigation there are legitimate reasons for why that has to remain under seal in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation but once the investigation has closed there's no longer the same justification for keeping those orders under seal in the area of location tracking a particular form of electronic surveillance where the law is constantly evolving and the government is trying to get away with more then the public maybe feel comfortable with then the law may tolerate essential that the public and the
decision makers in congress and our state legislature legislatures have an understanding of just what kinds of electronic surveillance is happening new technology is devolving their new methods of tracking us and so it's essential that this sort of process. happen by light of public day rather than under cover of night i don't want to say the a.c.l.u. is the only organization fighting this there are certainly other great organizations that do an awesome job but i'm wondering why you think this isn't a bigger deal why this isn't a campaign issue you know something that the majority of people in this country care about and that is what you just talked about electronic surveillance i am so delighted you've asked that question it's a question i ask myself all the time there was a very brave judge in texas about four years ago who started raising the profile of this what i find to be shocking issue of secret docket in courts where courts are granting the federal government the authority to engage in all kinds of
surveillance and it's all happening under. we'll so the there is a basic first amendment right a common law tradition in this country of access to the courts we hold trials in public we hold fishel proceedings in public so the idea that in a very controversial and evolving area of law electronic surveillance the idea that this kind of judicial decision making would be high happening in secret it's shocking that in two thousand and twelve this is happening in our country absolutely great to have you on the show linda ly attorney with the a.c.l.u. of northern california thank you so much happy birthday occupy well i want to give you now wrap up on some of the topics that we've been covering today first there have been protests all over central asia north africa the middle east even in australia now these protests evidence of rising tensions around the world spurned by frustration with the west possibly based on an offensive anti islamic movie
possibly based on more also today as we just mentioned hundreds of activists with the occupy wall street movement descended upon new york city in honor of the one year anniversary of occupy wall street they took to the streets in protest in cities all around this country as well speaking out against corporate greed and the growing inequality gap so it's possible that what's unfolded just over the past few days may be changing the course of what the two thousand and twelve election was supposed to be about my issue is the economy and i needed to make that much more forceful and clear and they've got a basic theory about how you grow there come out of it a talked about economic freedom why i believe it's so critical and how as president i would restore it to get our economy going again of course the economy is a word needs to be. president obama has now been put in a very similar situation the president jimmy carter was put in back in one thousand nine hundred eighty then as now the economy was unstable but
a whole lot of president carter's attention was going to something else that was going to the crisis in tehran for more than fifty americans had been taken hostage after students and militants supporting the iranian revolution took over the american embassy there those hostages were not released for more than a year despite an attempt by the carter administration to try to rescue them in april of one thousand nine hundred eighty that mission was canceled after an equipment failure as our team was withdrawing after my order to do so two of our american aircraft collided on the ground following a refueling operation in a remote desert location in the room there was no fighting there was no combat but to my regret days of the crewmen of the two craft which collided were killed as we know now president carter did not address.